Pioneer Power

Alfred Piaget ’57

Alfred Piaget ’57 has had a distinguished career as an educator and administrator. He attributes his career success to the work ethic and personal values he developed attending what was then Paterson State Teachers College on the G.I. Bill. A student government leader and class president during his junior and senior years, he was also active in music and drama productions while earning a degree in education.

He began his teaching career in the Wayne school district, where he held leadership posts in the Wayne Teachers Association (as a representative, then vice president and president-elect). He also continued his education, turning his attention to the instruction of exceptional children—both those academically gifted and those at risk of dropping out—earning a master’s and then a doctorate in the education of emotionally disturbed children at Yeshiva University.

Piaget went on to the Rutgers University Graduate School, where he developed a master’s and doctoral program in the new field of educating emotionally disturbed children. After serving as director of New York’s Horizon School for children with emotional disorders and neurological impairments, he returned to New Jersey as director of the Center School at the Fair Lawn Mental Health Center.

When that program concluded, Piaget founded The Benway School, a private, not-for-profit program for students with emotional, learning, and/or neurological problems. The Benway name is derived from a former Wayne student he had taught in a drop-out prevention program years earlier. For the next twenty-eight years, he made positive changes in the lives of countless students and their families, an accomplishment that was the heart and soul of his educational journey of fifty years.

From his many years of experience as an educator and administrator, Piaget knew well the importance of having the resources to support innovative programs and top-notch facilities. When it came time to celebrate his fiftieth class year reunion, he made a lead gift to the Class of 1957 Reunion Class Gift Drive, which supports the University’s College of Education. His lead gift was the chance to give back to the alma mater and college that had changed his life.